Greatest Hits That Artists Are Now Embarrassed By
Musicians typically get their big break when a song is well received by the public and becomes a hit single. From then on, the song is overplayed on the radio and the musicians are expected to perform the hit at every show.
While some bands are especially appreciative and proud of their breakthrough song, others would trade everything to never hear or play it again — like these musicians that can no longer stand the songs that helped them make it big.
Radiohead Is Disgusted By “Creep”
When English rock band Radiohead released their hit song “Creep,” fans loved it. But while “Creep” was the song that got the band to where they are today, they all proclaim that the song isn’t very good at all.
Thom Yorke, the frontman of the group, has said that the band sold out in a sense because they rode on the coattails of the song to become famous. They became so tired and disgusted by the song that they dropped it entirely from their concert setlists. Even when the audience asked for it, they would less-than-politely decline.
Lorde Thinks “Royals” Is Disastrous
In 2013, teen New Zealand singer Lorde dropped her debut single “Royals.” Shortly after its release, it became an international crossover hit that reached No. 1 on charts across the globe. In the U.S. the track made her the youngest artist to achieve a No.1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 since 1987.
Even though the song brought her worldwide fame and a Grammy, she admits she doesn’t really like it. In an interview with The Daily Record (as reported by Gigwise), she claimed that “It sounds like a ringtone from a 2006 Nokia. None of the melodies are good or cool. It’s disastrous, awful.”
“Wonderwall” Makes Oasis Want To Gag
Although Noel and Liam Gallagher are infamous for their blatant sibling hatred for one another, what’s even more popular is their band’s classic song “Wonderwall.” Written by Noel, the song topped the charts around the world and can still be heard being blasted out of frat houses or at karaoke bars.
Liam openly loathes the song and has said, “Every time I have to sing it I want to gag.” He mentions that the worst part is how it became such a hit for the band that they were expected to play it wherever they went which made them dislike it that much more.
Playing “Stairway To Heaven” Lives Gives Led Zeppelin Hives
It’s no doubt that “Stairway to Heaven” is legendary rock band Led Zeppelin’s most famous song. It’s eight minutes of pure rock and roll, poetry, and let’s not forget Jimmy Page’s guitar solo. Although it will go down in the halls of rock history as one of the greatest rock songs of all time, it’s not as loved by the band as it is by the public.
Jimmy Page has called the song “the essence of the band,” but that doesn’t mean that they want to play it every chance that they get. It’s a long and arduous song that only works if it’s played perfectly. Frontman Robert Plant has gone on record saying that “I’d break out in hives if I had to sing that song at every show.”
The Beastie Boys Think “Fight For Your Right To Party” Blows
The Beastie Boys track Fight For Your Right To Party helped to put Beastie Boys on the map. It became the anthem for teenage angst thanks to MTV even though the song was completely ironic. In the end, member Mike D. noted that “The only thing that upsets me is that we might have reinforced certain values of some people in our audience when our own values were actually totally different” according to BeastieMania.
People have been listening to that song thinking that the Beastie Boys were egging them on to never stop the party when in reality, they were laughing at them. It was also written in the liner notes of their album Sounds of Silence that compared to their other music, the song “sucked”.
How Frank Sinatra Really Felt About “New York, New York”
Since Frank Sinatra had such a long and successful career, there’s no doubt that he got sick of some of his number one hits. Singing the same crowd pleasers for years on end is bound to take a toll on a person. One of the songs he could no longer even listen to was “New York, New York.”
Apparently, during a dinner honoring Elizabeth Taylor, “New York, New York” played as he made his way to the podium which made him visually upset. He yelled “Don’t ever play that song again! I had enough of “On My Way” and I don’t want this one to become a pain…” He allegedly also added a few choice swear words.
Lady Gaga Isn’t A Fan Of “Telephone”
“Telephone” was released on Lady Gaga’s third EP The Fame Monster in 2009. It featured Beyonce and quickly became a fan favorite song on the album by critics and listeners. In 2001, it was nominated at the Grammys for the Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals. The song also topped the charts in numerous countries, making it an international hit.
Nevertheless, Lady Gaga has admitted that she hates the song and especially the music video. She said that “I hate ‘Telephone.’ Is that terrible to say? It’s the song I have the most difficult time listening to.” It doesn’t have anything to do with Beyonce; she just doesn’t like the way it turned out.
Kurt Cobain Resented “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
Featured as the single for the group’s second album, Nevermind, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was the song that made Nirvana wildly popular and dubbed them leaders of the grunge music scene. The song became so popular that it has been described as “the anthem for Generation X.”
But for some people, Nirvana became recognized only as the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” guys, which drove Kurt Cobain to resent the hit. He became embarrassed to even play it because it made him feel like a sellout. In an interview with Rolling Stone, the late musician stated, “I can barely, especially on a bad night like tonight, get through “Teen Spirit.” I literally want to throw my guitar down and walk away”.
The Who Says “Pinball Wizard” Is The Clumsiest Song They Ever Wrote
When rock and roll group The Who came out with the rock opera Tommy, the track “Pinball Wizard” became a massive hit. As it turns out, guitarist Pete Townshend admitted that they only wrote the song so that they could impress and win over music critic Nik Cohn.
He liked pinball, so the band wrote the song just for him — but they weren’t proud of the outcome or how much people liked it. Townsend once described it as “the most clumsy piece of writing I’ve ever done.” The whole band was expecting the song to be a failure, but its success surprised them all.
Warrant Hates That Their Legacy Is “Cherry Pie”
Most people would draw a blank if you asked them about the glam rock band Warrant. However, if you say that they were the guys who made the song “Cherry Pie,” it might help to jog their memory. Frontman Janie Lane had more than a few things to say about the band’s one-hit-wonder.
The song absorbed his entire life until he was nothing except the person who wrote “Cherry Pie.” In an interview, he expressed his regrets, saying “I hate that song. I had no intention of writing that song … And my legacy is ‘Cherry Pie,’ everything about me is ‘Cherry Pie,’ I’m the ‘Cherry Pie’ guy. I could shoot myself for writing that song.”
R.E.M. Thinks “Shiny, Happy People” Is A Fruity Pop Song For Kids
“Shiny Happy People” was on the 1991 album Out of Time and was the chosen single for the record. The song also features Kate Pierson of the B-52s and peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Although the song was a hit, the band wasn’t at all satisfied with it.
They didn’t take it seriously, and frontman Michael Stipe called it “a fruity pop song written for children. It just is what it is.” However, Stipe is thoughtful enough that he says he won’t downright talk bad about the song because it may mean a lot to some people out there.
Left Eye Felt That TLC’s “Creep” Sends The Wrong Message To Women
When “Creep” came out in 1994, it was incredibly successful topping the charts at No.1 and taking home a Grammy for the Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. Yet, one member of TLC was not thrilled with the song or the message that it projected.
Left Eye said that the narrative is about a girl who finds out she’s being cheated on so then she goes and cheats to get back at him. She asked, “Instead of telling a girl to cheat back, why don’t we just tell her to leave?” Initially, it was rumored that she was even going to cover her mouth with black tape in the music video but ended agreeing.
Simple Minds Resented “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”
The band Simple Minds became popular after “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” was featured in John Hughes’ 1985 classic film The Breakfast Club. The song went on to become No. 1 in the United States. The downside for Simple Minds was that it was written by someone else and didn’t sound anything like the music that the band makes themselves.
Of course, they were still pressured by the record company into making a song that they all hated regardless of whether it was going to be successful. To express their disappointment, the song wasn’t on any of their albums until their 1992 compilation Glittering Prize 81/92.
Madonna Nevers Wants To Hear “Like A Virgin” Again
Although Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” is one of her greatest earlier hits, in an interview with a New York radio station, as reported by GigWise, she admitted that she might not ever be able to sing the song again. That is unless someone pays her a large sum of $30 million— and even then it’s unlikely.
Aside from never wanting to sing it again; she also can’t bear to hear it anymore. Madonna has said when she hears her music in public whether it’s at a restaurant or shopping it’s usually “Like a Virgin” which is the last thing she wants to hear.
Miley Cyrus Feels Like A Sellout Thanks To “Party In The USA”
“Party in the USA” was a hit when it came out in 2009 and stills gets lots of radio time today. But Miley isn’t very proud of the song or the success that it brought her in the music industry. Initially, she didn’t expect it to become so popular but when it did she rolled with it.
Cyrus has also admitted to feeling guilty that she doesn’t listen to pop music when “Party in the USA” was about as pop as it gets, so she feels like a sellout for making the song. However, she has resolved that she can never fully hate the song because it helped launch her music career into what it is today. Hannah Montana was only the beginning.
The Pretenders Didn’t Even Want “Brass In Pocket” To Be Released
“Brass in Pocket” was a 1979 single by The Pretenders. It was the band’s first big hit and remained at No.1 on the UK singles chart for two weeks, No.2 in Australia, and No.14 in the United States. Before the song was even released, lead singer Chrissie Hynde was not a fan.
In an interview with Observer in 2004, she said that she didn’t even want the song to be released because she thought it was so bad. She commented, “When we recorded the song I wasn’t very happy with it and told my producer he could release it over my dead body, but they eventually persuaded me.”
You Probably Won’t Hear Coldplay Playing “Speed of Sound” Live
“Speed of Sound” was written by the British rock group Coldplay. It was written for their third studio album X&Y and was released on April 18, 2005. In the United States, it peaked at No.8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was their most successful song until they came out with “Viva la Vida” in 2008.
It was nominated for two Grammys, won a Brit Award, and was also nominated for an MTV Video Music Award. However, as the years passed, the band started to like the song less and less until they almost stopped playing it entirely. Frontman Chris Martin has said that they don’t have any fun playing it and that they’ve played it less than 10 times since 2012.
Mandy Moore Wants To Refund Everyone Who Bought “Candy”
Before Mandy Moore became a prominent actress, she released her 1999 hit single “Candy.” The song was the single from the album I Wanna Be with You which was released the following year.
Since her acting career has taken off, she looks back on her music, and especially the song “Candy,” with disdain. In 2006, she even told Glamour magazine that “If I had the money, I would give a refund to everyone who bought my first two albums” the Chicago Tribune reported the story. Some time away from music changed her perspective and her acting career has been majorly successful recently.
James Blunt Doesn’t Want To Be Associated With “You’re Beautiful”
If you say that you’ve never had James Blunt’s 2004 hit “You’re Beautiful” stuck in your head, you’re lying. The song was a massive hit and is James Blunt’s biggest success to date selling 3 million copies in its first eight years. As sick as some of us got of hearing the song endlessly for the first few years after its release, so did Blunt.
The Times UK reported Blunt said “There was one song that was force-fed down people’s throats – ‘You’re Beautiful’ – and it became annoying. And then people start to associate the artist with the same word.” The problem is, he’s still expected to sing it at every performance, decades later.
Neil Young Is Tired Of “Heart of Gold”
Neil Young wrote “Heart of Gold” in 1971. It became his first single to reach No.1 in the United States and is still considered to be one of his best records to date. The song was the chosen single for the album Harvest, and he wrote the tune following a back injury that hindered him from playing his electric guitar.
Although he claimed that Harvest was probably the best album he ever made, he said in the liner notes of his compilation album Decades that “Heart of Gold” put me in the middle of the road. Traveling there soon became a bore, so I headed for the ditch.”
Kanye Was Really Just Digging For Gold Himself With “Gold Digger”
In 2005, Kanye West debuted his notorious banger “Gold Digger,” about women who are only after rappers for the money. As it turns out, “Gold Digger” wasn’t necessarily one of West’s favorite creations.
In a BBC radio interview, reported by MTV, West says that he really only did the song to raise money for a bigger project. “Then I pay my own money, that I get paid for doing ‘Gold Digger,’ which I never really liked that song, but I knew I would get paid for doing ‘Gold Digger,'” West told Zane Lowe in 2013. The song remains a popular hit on playlists and radio stations almost two decades after its original release.
John Lennon Thought “When I’m Sixty-Four” Was For Grandmas
“When I’m Sixty-Four” was a hit off The Beatles’ 1967 album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and apparently one of John Lennon’s least favorite tracks.
It was originally written by Paul McCartney for his father and was revamped when the band was working on their eighth studio album. Engineer Geoff Emerick claimed that Lennon referred to the track as “granny music.” According to Far Out Magazine, Lennon also said that the song was “Paul’s completely. I would never dream of writing a song like that.” This is just one of many Beatles tracks that Lennon disliked.
Morrisey Hated This Song On The Smiths’ Debut Album After It Was Pressed
“What Difference Does It Make?” was a song on The Smiths’ self-titled debut album in 1984. But one person who wasn’t too proud of this song was lead vocalist Morrissey.
He allegedly found the lyrics “facile and mildly embarrassing,” according to some accounts. In 1992, he was also reported to have said, “There’s a couple of songs I don’t like. In fact, I didn’t really like them at the time. Like ‘What Difference Does It Make?’, I thought was absolutely awful the day after the record was pressed.”
A Flock Of Seagulls Got Trapped Performing “I Ran”
English band A Flock Of Seagulls came onto the new wave scene of the ’80s with their 1982 hit “I Ran.” Eventually, it would become the bane of the band’s existence as it was the only song that anyone ever wanted them to play.
Lead singer Mike Score once told VH1, “Every time I perform live, everyone just wants to hear ‘I Ran’ …I’m sick of it!” As the years went by, the band has learned to embrace the song for what it is. According to Songfacts, Score has also said, “I don’t think it’s the best song we’ve got, although it was the biggest hit.”
Run-D.M.C. Was Embarrassed About “Walk This Way”
In 1986, Run-D.M.C. came out with “Walk This Way,” a cover of a song that was originally sung by Aerosmith. Run-D.M.C. never really listened to the whole song and only rapped on top of the original beat.
When the idea for a collaboration with Aerosmith came along, both parties were understandably uncomfortable. Steven Tyler, in particular, was upset that Run-D.M.C. didn’t even know the original words. Still, they overcame their differences and created a hit. But after, Rev Run admitted, “We did not perform ‘Walk This Way’ in 1986 while it was exploding… It was a separate thing in my mind.”
Brian May Had Some Concerns About Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now”
“Don’t Stop Me Now” is a classic Queen song from 1977. Frontman Freddie Mercury wrote the song about feeling unstoppable, although many have noted that it expresses Mercury’s dive into the wild side.
Guitarist Brian May was one person who noticed this off the bat. He told Absolute Radio in 2011, “I thought it was a lot of fun, but I did have this undercurrent feeling of ‘aren’t we talking about danger here,’ because we were worried about Freddie at this point… It’s become a massive, massive track and an anthem to people who want to be hedonistic.”
Katy Perry Wants To Change The Message From “I Kissed A Girl”
Katy Perry rose to the pop scene in 2008 with “I Kissed A Girl.” The suggestive song is what put her on the map, but Billboard’s 2012 “Woman of the Year” says she wishes that she could have sent a different message.
“We’ve really changed, conversationally, in the past 10 years. We’ve come a long way. Bisexuality wasn’t as talked about back then, or any type of fluidity. If I had to write that song again, I probably would make an edit on it… Lyrically, it has a couple of stereotypes on it,” Perry told Glamour in February 2018.
Celine Dion Had No Heart For “My Heart Will Go On”
“My Heart Will Go On” is arguably Celine Dion’s greatest hit, but the Canadian songstress doesn’t feel the same connection to it as Jack does with Rose in Titanic.
Dion originally recorded it in one take but was so good that she ended up having to perform the song for the rest of her life. She didn’t even want to sing the song in the first place. The singer told Billboard, “I’m so glad that none of them listened to me that I didn’t want to record it! Thank God they didn’t listen to me!”
Don’t Expect Kelis To Make You A Milkshake These Days
Kelis may have been bringing all the boys to the yard with her 2003 hit, “Milkshake,” but apparently she has been lying about it this whole time. This isn’t to say that she detests the song per se, but the singer has admitted that she’s not very fond of the sweet treat itself.
“I know this sounds weird but I don’t know if I have ever actually made a milkshake. I haven’t. I can’t remember the last time I had one or made one… I make juice. I’m not a big milkshake fan,” reported Marie Claire.
George Michael Thinks “Bad Boys” Is From The Worst Part Of His Career
“Bad Boys” was a 1983 hit from the British pop duo, Wham! The song itself was written by George Michael, who although became more popular with the success of the song, would rather not have made it in the first place.
In a 1984 interview, Michael said, “I hate it. It’s like an albatross around my neck… Those couple of months making that record and ‘Fantastic’ album was the worst point in my career… I didn’t know what I was doing.” As a result, “Bad Boys” was noticeably left off of Wham!’s 1997 greatest hits album, If You Were There (The Best of Wham).
“Take My Breath Away” Took A Lot Away From Berlin
New wave band Berlin was on the rise in the ’80s when they were asked to sing a track for the movie Top Gun. “Take My Breath Away” would become their greatest hit and it even won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for Best Original Song.
Unfortunately, the popular track led to the band’s demise. Lead singer Terri Nunn went public with bassist John Crawford’s hatred of the song admitting that the frontman didn’t think that the song was the right sound or direction for the band and that he didn’t want to record it.
Tina Turner Was Not On Board With “What’s Love Got To Do With It”
Apparently, no one really wanted to sing “What’s Love Got To Do With It,” written by Terry Britten and Graham Lyle. It was offered to at least four different artists, including Donna Summer before it eventually made its way to Tina Turner.
Producers had to twist Turner’s arm to get her to do the song, which would eventually become one of her greatest hits and would win the artist three Grammys in 1985. Many will say it’s a good thing that she did the song, but then it was used as the theme for the 1993 film of the same name, which documented Tina’s abusive relationship with Ike Turner.
“Sometimes” Isn’t The Greatest And Britney Knows It
Britney Spears ruled the ’90s pop scene with hits like “Baby (One More Time)” and “Crazy,” but there’s another song that fans tend to forget — and Britney is glad. Spears apparently doesn’t like her song “Sometimes” all that much.
In 2003, Spears was filming for the “Onyx Hotel Tour” and was heard dissing the track herself. As she left the stage saying that she had to go, she says, “I haven’t even sung ‘Sometimes’ yet… Oh God! I never liked that song anyway!” It’s a good thing it’s one of the less famous ones then.
Selena Gomez Tells The Truth About “Come & Get It”
“Come & Get It” solidified Selena Gomez’s status as a pop star outside of the Disney Channel, but she’ll be the first one to tell you that it’s not her favorite hit. The song was originally written for Rihanna, but Gomez admits that even though she doesn’t like it as much, it was her first smash hit.
Gomez told Entertainment Weekly, “It’s very difficult for me to perform live. It’s not my song. To me, it sounds like a Rihanna reject… I’m grateful what it did for me, so it’d be stupid not to acknowledge it.”
John Mellencamp Is “A Little Weary” Of “Jack & Diane”
John Mellencamp was known as John Cougar when he rose to popularity with the 1982 song “Jack & Diane.” The little ditty became a phenomenal success for Mellencamp, spending four weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
According to Songfacts, Mellencamp told The Sun, “As much as I am a little weary of those two, I don’t know any other two people in rock & roll who are more popular than Jack and Diane.” He also said, “‘Jack & Diane’ was a terrible record to make. When I play it on guitar by myself, it sounds great; but I could never get the band to play along with me.”